Hainan Airlines’ new service from Changsha touched down for the first time at Sydney Airport this morning, marking a new route for the airport.
The twice-weekly service is operated by an A330-200 aircraft with 250 seats.
“We’re thrilled to welcome another service from Hainan Airlines to Sydney Airport, the world’s leading long haul airport for Chinese airlines,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“This new route will significantly boost tourism and trade to Sydney and NSW, bringing an additional 16,600 Chinese visitors and an anticipated $62 million in additional visitor expenditure per year.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming these new Chinese visitors to Sydney.”
Hainan Airlines Vice President of Marketing Hou Wei said the airline was delighted to expand its Sydney footprint.
“We are very happy to connect Changsha and Sydney together for the first time,” Mr Hou said.
“Hainan Airlines has identified Australia as a strategic choice in advancing our growth and development as a global aviation player, and Sydney is Australia’s largest city, economic and tourism hub.
“We hope that Hainan Airlines will become the choice of an increasing number of travellers around the world, so we are able to contribute more to the promotion of economic and cultural exchanges between China and Australia.”
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres welcomed the new Hainan Airlines Changsha to Sydney service and said China is NSW’s largest source of international visitors.
“In the year ended June 2016, we saw 639,000 visitors from China travelling to NSW, up 21 per cent on the previous year,” Mr Ayres said.
“China continues to lead NSW’s tourism growth and we look forward to working with Hainan Airlines, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, to promote travel to Sydney and Regional NSW.”
Changsha is home to around seven million people and is the capital of the south-central Chinese province of Hunan, which has a population of around 65 million people. The city is known for its 3,000 year history, museums, folk art, and hot and sour Xiang cuisine.
Hainan Airlines will also recommence its popular Xi’an route on 15 September, following the success of the service during the busy Lunar New Year period. Together, the two year-round Hainan Airlines services are expected to bring 33,000 Chinese visitors who will contribute an anticipated $124 million in additional visitor expenditure per year.
Hainan Airlines has been safely operating for 23 years. The airline has won six consecutive global SKYTRAX five-star airline ratings and operates a young and well-appointed aircraft fleet. Its business class cabin features 15 lie-flat seats, BOSE headphones, premium amenities, and a gourmet meal service showcasing both eastern and western cuisines.
Sydney Airport has six Chinese airlines serving 12 mainland Chinese cities. Chinese travellers are the airport’s largest and fastest growing international visitor market based on residency, with Chinese passenger numbers up by 20% so far this year compared to the same period last year.
The airport is welcoming Chinese passengers with initiatives including Mandarin speaking Airport Ambassadors, digital channels and wayfinding in simplified Chinese, acceptance of Union Pay, support of events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail, food and beverage offerings.
Monday and Friday: Departs Changsha at 1825, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Tuesday and Saturday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Changsha at 1630
Wednesday and Saturday: Departs Xi’an at 1705, arrives in Sydney at 0635
Thursday and Sunday: Departs Sydney at 0820, arrives in Xi’an at 1755